HC Deb 02 April 1968 vol 762 cc173-4
Q4. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Prime Minister if he will now make a statement on proposals for reform of the House of Lords.

The Prime Minister

I have as yet nothing to add to the Answer I gave on 5th March to a similar Question by my hon. Friend.—[Vol. 760, c. 227–8.]

Mr. Hamilton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that that reply was singularly uninformative? Can he tell the House what is now holding up the publication of the agreement between the parties concerned? Also, when can we expect publication of the White Paper, as some of us are anxious to get our teeth into this problem?

The Prime Minister

I take that threat in no idle way. The reason why my Answer was uninformative was because of the agreement between the three parties concerned that these discussions should go on and that we should not say anything in the House or elsewhere until the discussions are complete. The discussions have been proceeding for some time now and we shall make a report to the House as soon as may be possible.

Sir Knox Cunningham

What does the Prime Minister say to the suggestion in certain Labour quarters that he may be going to the House of Lords?

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

Can my right hon. Friend say whether opportunity will be taken in this review of the reform of the House of Lords to abolish the judicial functions of that House?

The Prime Minister

When this announcement was made we were discussing the question of the House of Lords as a legislative chamber. That is what is being discussed by the representatives of the three parties.